In the '90s, ska was experiencing its third wave, and Albuquerque was experiencing Giant Steps. The seven-member band formed in 1993 from the ashes of notable local groups Beat Fetish and Cool Runnins.
In it's heyday, Giant Steps (partially eponymous with the John Coltrane album, and partially taken from lines in The Police’s song "Walking on the Moon"), toured nationally and played shows with No Doubt, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Goldfinger and just about every other famous third-wave ska band.
"When we were doing our thing in the ’90s, we had a really good run," says Mike Silva, saxophone player and Giant Stepper. The band, which released two full-length albums in its duration—Technicolor and Feel the Thunder—was most known for intensely fun live shows. "Giant Steps has always had a pretty strong horn section," Silva says. "One of the good things about ska is you always get that big, in-your-face brass."
In 1999, due to factors like marriage and children, the band hung up its porkpie hat. "It just got to the point where it was seven guys—which is hard to manage—going in kind of different directions," says Silva. "I think life kind of got in the way."
The band was invited to be on the soundtrack for a locally filmed horror comedy called The Donor Conspiracy in 2006. That prompted Giant Steps' first reunion. There was another in 2008, and this week the band reforms once again for a show at the Launchpad. Half of Giant Steps still resides in New Mexico, but the other half is flying in from other states.
"It's going to be a really good time," Silva insists. "For those who've heard us before, we definitely hope they come back out and reminisce with us and have a lot of fun. For those who've never heard us before, it's really fun music—it's high energy, danceable stuff."
Silva, with a chuckle, highly encourages people to come out and skank off their holiday indulgences.